US President Donald Trump says that the first withdrawals of US troops from Afghanistan are starting “immediately,” following the successful signing of a deal with the Taliban.
Asked when the drawdown would begin under the accord, Trump tells journalists: “Like today, OK? Today. They’ll start immediately.”
The deal signed today in Doha will see US troops and the smaller numbers of foreign allies pulling out of Afghanistan within 14 months, as long as the Taliban stick to commitments to negotiate with the Western-backed government in Kabul and repel international jihadist groups.
The US, which currently has between 12,000 and 13,000 troops in Afghanistan, will draw that number down to 8,600 within 135 days of the signing.